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Five years ago, if someone were to mention the health and wellness uses for oregano essential oil, I would have looked at them cross-eyed. Although well versed in the benefits of essential oils, for one reason or another, oregano essential oil was nowhere to be found on my radar screen. Oregano for wellness? Although I have an oregano plant in my yard and use oregano leaves in pasta dishes and on pizza, I had never considered it to have healing qualities.
Moving forward in time, as I began to toss out conventional over-the-counter remedies, I discovered that Oregano essential oil has some amazing qualities. Not only that, it is inexpensive and can be effectively used in so many ways that like lavender, it should be called the Swiss army knife of essential oils.
A Brief History of Oregano Oil
Although oregano oil did not make its North American debut until the early 20th century, it was widely used in ancient times. Also known as “origanum vulgare” and “origanum compactum” oregano contains the powerful rosmarinic acid as well as carvacrol and thymol. Hippocrates wrote extensively about the benefits of oregano oil, singing its praises as a cure for digestive ailments, skin conditions, and respiratory diseases.
There is also evidence that in ancient Greece, oregano oil was used for the treatment of headaches, wounds, snakebites, spider bites and even the common cold. Its antioxidant properties have resulted in oregano being called an anti-aging herb.
In modern times, oregano oil is considered to be antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. Perhaps most notably, oregano essential oil is an anti-microbial with a demonstrated ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungal infections. Think hand sanitizer!
With that background, let me share 25 ways you can use Oregano essential oil (see here for the oil I use) for health and wellness purposes. They are listed in no particular order.
25 Uses of Oregano for Health and Wellness
Warts and skin tags: Apply one drop morning and night using a Q-tip applied to the affected area. Keep at it and within a few weeks, the warts will shrink appreciably and the skin tags will fall off. Another way to do this is to add a mixture of half oregano oil and half fractionated coconut oil to a roller bottle and dab twice daily until they are gone. Plantar warts may take a longer time to diminish.
Psoriasis: Mix with a carrier oil or salve (see more about carrier oils below) and apply topically twice a day. There is also some medical evidence that drinking a glass of water twice daily with 2 – 6 drops of Oregano oil added helps with the symptoms of psoriasis.
DIY Hand Sanitizer: Combine 10 drops of oregano oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil. Rub it into your hands as a natural hand sanitizer that fights fungal infections.
Natural Insect Repellent: Mix a few drops in a carrier oil or salve and rub over your skin to repel insects. You can also mix oregano oil with water in a spray bottle to create your own insect spray. Be sure to shake it up before using, since the oil will separate a bit in the water.
Control Itching: Apply diluted oregano oil to insect bites and skin rashes to relieve itching.
Rash Treatment: Mix with coconut oil or plain ole salve (naked salve) to soothe and heal diaper rash and other infections resulting in skin irritation. The thymol and carvacrol can make the antibacterial oil quite hot, so be careful when using it for topical treatment.
Fight infections: Rub a few drops of oregano oil into your gums to fight infections. Along with the other health benefits, oregano oil has been connected to fighting both yeast infections and cold sores.
Sickness and Flu: Diffuse Oregano essential oil in your favorite steam distillation diffuser to help quickly get rid of the flu or any other sickness.
Sinus Infections and Colds: Place a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water. Carefully inhale the steam, being careful not to get burned. You can also dilute in carrier oil then place under the nostrils to provide additional relief for sinus infections.
Sore Throat: To ease the pain of a sore throat, simply add one or two drops of oregano essential oil to a glass of water of juice and drink it.
Arthritis: Dilute with a carrier oil and rub onto painful joints to decrease swelling. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of oregano (including linalyl acetate) make it a must-have for arthritis patients and a good alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Dandruff: Add a few drops to your regular shampoo and rinse out with water, being mindful to keep the shampoo and oregano oil out of your eyes.
Eczema: Control eczema by blending oregano oil with carrier oil or salve and applying to your skin.
Athlete’s foot: Athlete’s foot is a type of fungus. Dilute in a carrier oil and apply directly 2-3 times a day. You can also add a few drops to baking soda to sprinkle inside your shoes for added protection against fungal infections.
Nail Fungus: Soak hands or feet in a basin of water with a few teaspoons of oregano oil added. You can also rub diluted oil (1 drop of oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil) directly onto your nails to fight fungal infections.
Relieve Sore Muscles: Dilute with carrier oil or lotion then gently massage on the affected area. Repeat up to three times a day.
Congestion: Dilute with your favorite carrier oil or lotion and apply to the skin on your chest. For nasal congestion, try adding one or two drops of oregano essential oil on a clean handkerchief and inhale the vapor.
Treat Parasites: Combine 1 drop of Oregano oil with 1 drop of a carrier oil. Place under the tongue and hold it for a few minutes before rinsing the mouth with water. Repeat up to four times a day.
Acne: Dip a Q-tip into the oil and apply directly to skin blemishes. The oil will kill the bacteria and reduce the inflammation. For the very best results, do this twice a day morning and night immediately after washing your face.
Mouthwash: Add a few drops to a glass of water to sweeten your breath and kill the bacteria that can lead to gum disease and gingivitis.
Ringworm: To kill ringworm, apply 3 to 6 drops of oregano oil to the affected area.
Skin Infections: Dilute with coconut oil and apply to the skin to boost the healing of skin infections and cold sores.
Cleaning Supplies: Add a few drops to your DIY cleaning supplies to give them an antiseptic and disinfectant boost. This is especially effective in the bathroom and in the kitchen, where you might find food-borne pathogens. Many oils used in cleaning products– like tea tree oil– can be harmful to pets. Keep this in mind if you have furry friends at home.
Laundry: Add a few drops to your load of laundry to kill bacteria or parasites and also to leave your clothes smelling nice and fresh.
Fungus and Mold: Mix with water and spray the shower to prevent fungus and mold from growing. This also works in other warm, humid areas of your home where fungus is prevalent.
A Word of Advice
Oregano oil is considered a hot oil. What this means is that it can burn or cause some irritation when used undiluted. Other hot oils include cinnamon or clove oil. When using Oregano oil “neat” (undiluted) apply carefully with a Q-tip and do not spread it beyond the affected area. For most applications, my recommendation is that it should be diluted for all but spot treatments (such as warts and skin tags). See below for common dilutions.
One more thing. The therapeutic use of oregano oil should be avoided in infants and children, and pregnant or nursing women. That is not to say that something bad will happen when using this herb, but that to be safe, the use of oregano oil should be avoided without first consulting with a qualified medical professional.
A Note About Carrier Oils and Dilutions
In order to effectively use essential oils, it is often necessary to dilute them in another oil so that they can be easily spread or massaged on the affected area. These oils are called “carrier” oils.
Common carrier oils include coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil and of course, Plain Ole Salve that you make yourself (also known as “naked salve”). In practical use, any oil can be used as a carrier oil but I like to stick with coconut oil or salve for ease of use and therapeutic value.
In terms of dilution, I made up the following chart. I typically start with a 2% or 5% dilution although is some cases, I go as low as 1% and as high as 10%. Remember, less is often more so start conservatively and move up only as needed to get the desired results.
|1 Teaspoon||1 drop||2 drops||5 drops||10 drops|
|1 Tablespoon||3 drops||6 drops||15 drops||30 drops|
|1 fluid ounce||6 drops||12 drops||30 drops||60 drops|
Where to Purchase Essential Oils
There are many quality brands of essential oils to choose from including retail stores, spa locations and online. I purchase my essential oils online from Spark Naturals because they are of the highest therapeutic quality and are priced fairly.
Furthermore, as a company, Spark Naturals makes no outrageous claims about their efficacy and does not require dues, “wholesale kits”, or other come-ons in an attempt to separate you from your hard-earned money.
Spark Naturals has fabulous promotions including their “Item of the Week” that is announced every Monday about noon Mountain Time.
All that being said, they are not the only quality essential oil company out there, but Spark Naturals is certainly one of the best and the one that I recommend and use myself.
Disclosure: I earn a small commission on your purchase when you use the links in this article plus the discount code BACKDOORSURVIVAL which allows you to enjoy an additional 10% off your Spark Naturals order.
The Final Word
Individuals at all stages of prepping are beginning to recognize that to be self-reliant, they need to get a bead on learning to use essential oils to manage both the routine and not-so-routine maladies that occur in daily life.
To that end, there are about a dozen or so essential oils that belong in every survival kit including, among others, lavender, peppermint, clove bud, rosemary and lemon or other citrus oil. I definitely include Oregano essential oil in the list of must-haves. It is inexpensive, effective and readily available. Not only that, along with lemon, it is considered to be one of the safest essential oils to ingest.
I encourage you to give Oregano Essential Oil a try. You will be glad that you did.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Whether you are just getting started or are experienced in the use of essential oils, having the right tools and supplies will help ease the journey. Here are some personal favorites.
Oregano Essential Oil: Oregano is one of those Swiss Army Knife essential oils that has dozen of uses. Highly recommended and reasonably priced!
Fractionated Coconut Oil: Fractionated Coconut Oil is often referred to as FCO. It is in liquid form, making it a good choice for use as a carrier oil. Also available at Spark Naturals here.
Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil: This is a high quality, silky smooth coconut oil. Plus, there is always something on sale at Tropical Traditions (you might have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see everything). Another option is the Nutiva Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Amazon.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: I first became interested in aromatherapy and essential oils in the early 90s which was before they really became mainstream. I read every book I could get my hands on and dabbled at creating synergy’s (a combination of two or more oils that create a chemical compound that is greater than the some of its individual components). My bible then, and even now, is this book.
Aromatherapy Glass Roll On Bottles, Frost Cobalt Blue-Set of 6: You are going to want some of these for your oils. I put essential oils (singly or in combination) in a roller ball with a bit of fractionated coconut oil and use it to apply e.o.s topically. Note that I prefer the cobalt blue roller ball containers but they are also available in clear.
Spark Naturals Essential Oils: These are what you need to make my DIY Miracle Salve: Lavender essential oil, Rosemary essential oil, and Peppermint essential oil. For the DIY Peppermint Scrub, you can use just the Peppermint or any combination of E.O.s that are pleasing to you.
Diffusers: You are definitely going to want to consider I diffuser. I keep one in my office next to my desk, one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen. I am hooked! The diffuser pictured below is this one: ZAQ Dew Aromatherapy Diffuser.
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